Exercising while pregnant can bring about a range of emotions. On one hand you’re wanting to stay fit for delivery and keep the weight in check but on the other hand there is anxiety attached to the thought of harming your internal passenger. It gets a little confusing on what to do and what not to do while pregnant.
I guess it’s best to start with the facts of what changes in your body while you are pregnant. This may give you a better understanding of why your workouts may be modified..
Bodily changes that effect exercise during pregnancy
1// We heat up easier –
“You don’t want to cook the baby” is something I used to keep in the back of my mind on hot days. We sweat faster to maintain a stable core temperature for our baby, so the thing to remember is to keep topping up with hydration during exercise and stay out of super hot spin class rooms or heated spas/pools.
2// Our backs get curvy –
To assist in gravity forces and posture while carrying a baby our lower backs create a curve. Swimming can help relieve this and take the pressure off, especially towards the 3rd trimester.
3// Our aerobic zone changes –
With an increase in heart rate and blood volume, you will find that it will take less effort to be puffed. It’s recommended you stay within an aerobic training zone and not take things into the anaerobic level and stress your body
4// Limbs swell, feet grow and flatten
Our balance is all off kilter and tendons/ligaments can greater elasticity due to hormones
So with these things in mind, here are some tips for exercising during pregnancy
+ Maintain an aerobic level while exercising with walking, spin bike, swimming and yoga.
+ Play it safe and stick to level roads where there is less risk of you twisting an ankle or stacking it on your bike.
+ Keep the weights light and towards the end of your pregnancy refrain from lifting anything heavy overhead. High reps of 20 – 30 x 2- 3 sets will maintain overall muscle strength.
+ Don’t do any exercises that require you to lay flat – mainly from your first trimester onwards as the weight of your baby will place pressure on your organs and arterys that supply blood to the foetus.
+ Go easy on the abdominals
– there is a big chance your growing baby is separating your abdominal wall (diastasis recti) so to prevent this from premature separation avoid all frontal Planks
on the swiss ball or on the floor
and full or kneeling press ups
should be avoided during second and third trimesters. Here are some abdominal exercise to consider while pregnant
+ Listen to your body – now is not the time to get all hard-core and have weight loss goals. It is about maintaining a level of fitness to see you through the pregnancy.
By keeping your body moving during pregnancy you will find your mood will be elevated, joints will be kept lubricated and constipation may be relieved. Stretching will also help you alleviate back pain and stiffness.
Remember each pregnancy takes a unique direction. I found myself sick with ridiculously chronic tiredness so I took it easy and walked and swam on days I felt I could. There will be the time to get fit again after your baby is born .. I promise 😉